RSS Anonymous

With 4,624 unread RSS items, Messaging and Collaboration editor Steve Gillmor 'fesses up: "I am an RSS addict." What can Steve and a growing population of users do to come clean?

As RSS burrows deeper and deeper into the heart of mainstream computing, the next-gen technology for processing the Web is having some growing pains. If you believe the more florid news headlines, its all about the battle for bragging rights between RSS and Atom. Head for Google or Yahoo if you want more on that rathole—what they call RSS makes no difference to me, or you. How well it works does.

Apparently, Ive been "feeling overwhelmed by thousands of unread items in NetNewsWire." At least, thats what the normally circumspect Jon Udell says in his superb blog. Well, yes, Jon and I do talk a lot about these and other related topics; and yes, I have certainly expressed the fact that I currently have some 4,623 unread items in NetNewsWire. Whats also true is that Ive been in this same boat for months. Why now?

Of course, Dave Winer then pulls this particular sentence out and trumpets it on Scripting News. Now I get an IM from Robert Scoble commiserating over my troubles. Unfortunately, Im testing out the handwriting recognition on a Tablet PC at the time. A truly asynchronous conversation ensues.

Scobles typing speed frequently causes sonic booms, while decrypting my handwriting has overcome Moores Law. Luckily, Scoble really wanted to talk about his rant on dueling search engines—post number 4,619 on my Mac-which, naturally, I hadnt read. No, really, Robert.

Next morning comes an apparently serendipitous email from NetNewsWire author Brent Simmons, pointing me at a new bug-fixed version of the beta Ive been testing. In minutes Im eagerly trying the new embedded browser functionality out on unread item 4,624. Yes, its a follow-up from Jon Udell; and no, he doesnt bring me into the conversation. He lets Brent Simmons do it in a quote from an e-mail, thusly: "Generalizing about NetNewsWire based on Steve Gillmors use of it isnt fair."

Oh, great. Now Im in hot water with the developer of my favorite RSS information router. Maybe I should accept one of those Orkut invitations before I run completely out of friends. Or get myself a lawyer. Why, oh why did I not open my big mouth and not say any of this in the first place? What was I not thinking?

Next page: Confessions of an RSS Addict